iStock(OAKLAND, Calif.) — An intense manhunt was underway on Wednesday in Northern California after a victim was killed on New Year’s Eve when he attempted to chase down the getaway car of the brazen thieves who swiped his laptop computer from a coffee shop in broad daylight, police said.The death marked the 75th homicide in Oakland, California, in 2019, up from a 19-year low of 62 homicides reported in the Bay Area city of 425,195 people in 2018, according to officials.Investigators are combing over security video and interviewing witnesses in an attempt to identify the suspects, who could face murder charges when they are captured, police told ABC News on Wednesday.The New Year’s Eve slaying unfolded about 11:37 a.m. when at least one thief approached the victim who was sitting at a table at a Starbucks in the Montclair neighborhood of Oakland and stole his laptop, police said.Witnesses told ABC station KGO-TV in San Francisco that the victim, whose name has yet to be released, was working on his laptop near a window when the thieves snatched the computer.“When the suspect approached and took the laptop the victim chased the suspects right around the corner,” said Officer Johnna Watson, spokeswoman for the Oakland Police Department.The victim, witnesses said, caught up to the getaway car and may have grabbed onto the door handle in an effort to get his laptop back. As the vehicle accelerated away, the victim apparently lost his grip and was flung head-first into a parked car, witnesses said.Oakland firefighters who were nearby and witnessed part of the startling crime in the upscale business district rendered medical attention to the victim, who later died at a local hospital, police said.“He was bleeding only from the head. His face was purple and blue,” Maria Chan, owner of a florist shop in the area, told KGO-TV of seeing the victim lying in the street.The fatal incident was reminiscent of an August 2017 homicide that occurred in Oakland, in which a local musician, Dave Deporis, chased after thieves who stole his laptop from a coffee shop and was dragged about 200 yards before he fell under the wheels of the getaway car. The 40-year-old Deporis was killed in Oakland’s Temescal neighborhood, about 4 miles from where Tuesday’s deadly confrontation occurred.At the time, friends of Deporis told reporters he may have chased after the thieves because he had his music, including an unfinished new album, on his laptop. Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.
Notre Dame was once at the center of the national priest abuse scandals. Fr. James Burtchaell, formerly a professor of theology and provost, on resigned his professorship on Dec. 2, 1991, in the wake of sexual misconduct charges, The Observer reported.“At the request of the University, he agreed in April 1991 to resign from the faculty at the end of his current sabbatical leave in the summer of 1992,” Fr. Carl Ebey, former provincial superior of the Congregation of the Holy Cross said in a statement reported in the Dec. 3, 1991, issue of The New York Times.One of Burtchaell’s alleged victims, John Michael Vore, said the priest was his spiritual advisor, The Observer reported in its Dec. 9, 1991, issue.“I experienced a violation when I was with him — a violation of trust, of the confidence I had in him,” Vore said at the time.Burtchaell’s resignation followed an investigation conducted by the Office of the Provost, under the leadership of then-provost Timothy O’Meara. The investigation was conducted throughout the 1990-91 academic year, after different students alleged Burtchaell abused them, according to the Dec. 3, 1991, issue of The Observer.Burtchaell was on leave from the University for the 1991-92 academic year, when he was a visiting professor at Princeton University. His resignation was effective at the conclusion of that academic year.It is unclear when the University first received reports of Burtchaell’s abuse of students. William Storey, a theology professor at Notre Dame who retired in 1991, said he reported possible sexual misconduct by Burtchaell to the Congregation of the Holy Cross in 1976, according to the Dec. 13, 1991 issue of the National Catholic Reporter.Burtchaell served as the University’s first provost for seven years beginning in 1970. He was also chair of the Theology Department from 1968 to 1970.He was known for stringent pro-life position and opposition to homosexuality in the Church, but also supported the ordination of women in a 1975 homily, The Observer reported.After his resignation, Burtchaell was barred from public ministry, but remains a member of the Congregation of the Holy Cross.Burtchaell’s case was the highest profile case of sexual abuse at Notre Dame, but former Notre Dame rector Fr. Robert Huneke was also implicated when a former student wrote a letter to members of the parish at which Huneke served in 1989.Huneke allegedly began abusing the student when he was a parish priest in Long Island in 1969. When the student began attending Notre Dame in the early 1970s, Huneke followed him to the University, and served as an assistant rector of Cavanaugh Hall and rector of Grace Hall, according to the May 4, 2003, issue of The South Bend Tribune.The abuse continued until the student was 20-years-old, according to The Tribune, but the student did not report the abuse until both he and Huneke were no longer present at the University.Huneke was working at a parish in Huntington, N.Y., in 1989 when the student accused him of abuse. The diocese removed Huneke from the parish, and the priest eventually married a former nun, according to The Tribune.The student learned in 2001 that Huneke was working as a guidance counselor at a high school in Atlanta. He informed the school about Huneke’s past, and the former priest was fired, according to The Tribune.The University established a three-member committee in 2003 for students and alumni to contact to report sexual misconduct by clergy, according to The Tribune. The committee consisted of Theology Department chair John Cavadini, then-associate provost and current president of Saint Mary’s College Carol Mooney and then-general counsel Carol Kaesebier.
OAKLAND — Raiders fans will get to root for their team in Oakland one more season.After months of searching for a temporary home, owner Mark Davis settled on the Oakland-Alameda Coliseum after reaching a lease deal Friday with East Bay officials.The Coliseum Stadium Authority board at its Friday meeting voted unanimously to approve the lease extension.The Raiders will pay $7.5 million, plus $750,000 they owe from previous parking fees to play nine home games in Oakland where they have a …
Johannesburg, Tuesday 27 November 2018 – Brand South Africa welcomes the release of the 2018 Ernst & Young (EY) Africa Attractiveness Survey which sees South Africa retain its position as the top foreign direct investment (FDI) destination on the African continent, a top rank position which the country now shares with Morocco.EY states that they are also seeing investment shifting between countries for the first time. “South Africa, once the clear leader in attracting FDI, now shares the top rank with Morocco.This is the first time South Africa has been challenged for being the most preferred investment destination (measured by FDI project numbers). Ethiopia jumped seven places to become the fifth-largest FDI recipient, its highest ranking yet.”The report also notes that during 2017 FDI into the African economy increased with 6%, and that in 2016 a total of 676 FDI projects came to African economies, increasing to 718 in 2017. In this regard, the top five nations on the African continent of FDI projects are South Africa with 96 projects – giving it a 31% share of FDI in 2017. Morocco with 96 projects, increases from 81 in 2016 and Kenya with 67 projects, rising from 40 in 2016, suggesting a 68% increase in FDI projects year on year. Nigeria sees an increase from 54 to 64 projects between 2016 and 2017 while Ethiopia made a momentous improvement with an increase of 288% of FDI projects, from 16 in 2016, to 62 in 2017.Commenting on the EY Africa Attractiveness Survey 2018 results, Brand South Africa’s GM for Research Dr Petrus de Kock says from this year’s report it is clear that specific regions and countries’ outlook, and investment attractiveness have changed dramatically.Dr de Kock adds: “This has several implications for South Africa in a year where President Ramaphosa made investment (both domestic and foreign) a key priority of his administration and cabinet. South Africa’s position in this year’s report is as a result of the -31% decline on investment projects from 2016 (total number of projects in 2016 were 139). From the EY data it is clear that South Africa lost momentum in attracting FDI in 2017.”Dr de Kock says Morocco’s position should serve as a wakeup call and motivator for South Africa. “Morocco’s standing as FDI destination is solidifying and the country is on a trajectory to intensify its FDI credentials in the coming years. It is therefore important following on the successful investment conference initiated by President Ramaphosa, that South Africa utilises existing strengths in market diversification, strength of incentives for investment, and the infrastructural profile of the market, to attract more investment.“South Africa needs to sustain momentum to stimulate GDP growth because there is a direct correlation between robust GDP growth and FDI attraction. The country must ensure that it continues on the path of careful reforms to improve ease of doing business in the market,” concluded Dr de Kock.Of all the regions, East Africa registered the most significant increase in the number of FDI projects during 2017. This is mostly due to robust GDP growth, as well as regional integration initiatives. As a whole, the region saw an 82% increase in FDI compared to 2016. While this increase comes off a relatively low base in 2016, it is notable that the region emerged as Africa’s FDI hub during 2017.The EY Africa Attractiveness Survey 2018 provides interesting insights pertaining to the economic outlook of the pan-African economy, as well as trends in FDI.
Fifteen years ago, Mike Martz had a radical notion: “Why does the run have to set up the pass?”That, according to Sports Illustrated’s Peter King, was the question the new St. Louis Rams offensive coordinator posed to his head coach, Dick Vermeil, as they prepared for the coming NFL season in June 1999. It was to be Vermeil’s third in St. Louis, and judging from the press clippings, probably his last if things didn’t change in a hurry.1Things did change in a hurry, but it was still Vermeil’s last year with the team — just not for the reason fans expected before the season. Over the previous two seasons, Vermeil had coached the Rams to 23 losses and only nine wins, with an offense that ranked 23rd out of 30 NFL teams in passing efficiency and 26th in scoring.Then came Martz. “I don’t know of any assistant coach that came in, at any one time, in any one program, and made as big a contribution as Mike did at that time,” Vermeil said in a recent interview. In his estimation, Martz’s contribution to the Rams2Along with those of wide receivers coach Al Saunders, offensive line coach John Matsko, and strength coach Dana LeDuc. was equivalent to that of a first-round pick — and that’s not a hard case to make. Upon Martz’s arrival, the Rams went from laughingstocks to Super Bowl champs with an explosive attack that came to be known as the “Greatest Show on Turf.”It was, at the time, the third-most potent scoring offense and the second-most efficient passing attack3By adjusted net yards per attempt generated above league average. the league had seen in its modern incarnation.4Going back to 1970, the year of the AFL-NFL merger. And of even more historical significance, the Rams did it before the league became fixated on throwing the ball.While the longtime mantra of football coaches everywhere had been to “establish the run” before passing, Martz’s plan was to aggressively pass the ball until the Rams had a lead worth protecting with the run. Stocked with speed everywhere and willing to throw in any situation, the Greatest Show on Turf proved that pass-first teams could win championships, and it heralded the passing fireworks we see in the NFL today.“If you go back and look at the other teams of that era, the ‘conventional’ teams that you were competing with, [the Rams were] the aberration of the day,” said former Baltimore Ravens coach and current NFL Network analyst Brian Billick, whose head-coaching debut came against the Rams in their 1999 regular-season opener. “St. Louis was so far ahead. It’s hard to say [they were] ‘pass-happy’ because they actually ran the ball pretty well,” he said. “But there’s no question they wanted to throw the ball.”As Billick noted, St. Louis still could run effectively — running back Marshall Faulk racked up the NFL’s fifth-most rushing yards in 1999 — but that wasn’t the team’s focus. The Rams anticipated what statistical analysts would eventually come to learn about football: Teams run when they win; they don’t win when they run. After using all that passing to build early leads, St. Louis rushed on the league’s sixth-largest proportion of its second-half plays — and no team devoted more of its fourth-quarter plays to running the ball. Martz had successfully flipped conventional football wisdom on its head, using the pass to set up the run just as he had set out to do.And ever since the Greatest Show on Turf hit the NFL scene, the league has trended toward ever more (and more effective) passing, further enabled by rule changes designed to incentivize every team to spread the field and throw the ball aggressively.The genesis of the Rams’ aggressive strategy came when Martz was coaching quarterbacks for the Washington Redskins a year earlier. As ESPN analyst Ron Jaworski tells the story in his book “The Games That Changed The Game,” Martz realized that his pass-heavy third-down play packages were too effective to be confined to such a narrow situation.5Despite relatively average yards-per-play numbers across all situations, Washington had ranked fourth in the league in third-down conversion rate in 1997. “Since we both love these plays so much,” Martz asked head coach Norv Turner, “why can’t we run them whenever we want? Why wait till third down?”“So what happened was that we decided to run these third-and-long plays regardless of down and distance or field position,” Martz told Jaworski. “To us it simply didn’t matter anymore. This kept defenses guessing — they couldn’t zero in on our tendencies, personnel packages, or formations, because they’d always have to be ready for the big pass.”Armed with such convention-breaking ideas, Martz represented the most revolutionary branch of the coaching tree originally planted by retired San Diego Chargers coach Don Coryell. Martz’s preferred offensive system, nicknamed “Air Coryell” for its emphasis on defense-stretching pass plays, wasn’t new; as the name implied, the system was first developed by Coryell in the 1960s at San Diego State, and later used to great effect at the NFL level by the Chargers of the early ’80s.6Under the coordination of Turner, another Coryell acolyte, the Dallas Cowboys had won multiple Super Bowls running the offense in the early 1990s. But it had never been taken to the extremes Martz envisioned upon joining the Rams staff.During the 1998 season, just three teams passed on more than 50 percent of their first-down plays.7When the score was close, and filtering out late-game situations. Running the West Coast Offense under coach Mike Holmgren, the Green Bay Packers threw in a league-high 57 percent of those situations — but gained an average of only 5.8 yards per attempt.8By comparison, the league average across all passes that season was 6.8 yards. This was an artifact of the West Coast’s philosophy, which had overtaken the league in the two decades since its creation by legendary coach Bill Walsh. Similar to Coryell’s scheme, Walsh’s offense emphasized passing over rushing, but it focused on stretching the field horizontally with short passes as a means of ball control. By contrast, Martz wanted to throw early and often, but also sought to stretch the field with deep passing.“If you’ve got a Mercedes,” Martz said at the time, “you don’t keep it in the garage.”After an offseason overhaul, the Rams possessed the football equivalent of German engineering under the hood. First, they signed accurate passer Trent Green9Fresh off a career season under Martz in Washington. to conduct Martz’s mad experiment from behind center. Then, capitalizing on a brewing contract dispute with the Indianapolis Colts, St. Louis heisted Faulk in a trade, giving up just a pair of draft picks for the league’s best all-around running back. Days later, they used the sixth overall pick in the draft on Torry Holt, anticipating a productive pairing at wide receiver with former Pro Bowler Isaac Bruce returning from injury. Even the role players, such as second-year receiver Az-Zahir Hakim, had otherworldly speed.Vermeil was already a longtime Air Coryell believer,10“I had run it myself in Philadelphia on a smaller-volume scale in the late ’70s and early ’80s,” he said. and had been trying to install the offense in St. Louis for two years, but lacked the proper personnel. “We had the foundation of it, installed by [former offensive coordinator] Jerry Rhome, the first two years I was there,” Vermeil told me. “I had actually limited [the playbook’s] growth my second year there because we couldn’t complete in the high 60 percent of our throws. So I instructed people to cut back in the volume, hoping that we could improve the execution and the completion percentage.”With Martz, Faulk, Bruce, Green and Holt in place, such cutbacks were no longer necessary. In the preseason of 1999, Green completed 28 of 32 passes (88 percent) before suffering a season-ending knee injury in the team’s third game. When unheralded backup Kurt Warner stepped in, Vermeil said, Martz and the coaching staff “made no adjustments” to the offensive scheme.True to Vermeil’s expectations, Warner ended up completing 65.1 percent of his passes, which at the time was the third-best single-season completion percentage by any quarterback ever.11Among quarterbacks with 450 attempts. In addition, the Rams came within striking distance of the 1989 San Francisco 49ers’ mark for the NFL’s second-most efficient passing offense since the merger12Relative to league average.More importantly, the Rams proved that a team could win without establishing the ground game before unleashing holy terror through the air. On first downs,13Again, when the score was close, and filtering out late-game situations. St. Louis passed a league-high 59 percent of the time, and gained 7.6 yards per attempt on those throws (11 percent more than the NFL average on all attempts that year) and scored a touchdown on 7.4 percent of them (almost twice the league average across all attempts). On the whole, the Rams passed 5.4 percent more than would be expected from their +9.1 average in-game scoring margin — still the biggest disparity by any Super Bowl winner since the merger.“The spread-out type of system, it really did begin with them, because they were so explosive,” Billick told me. “It was a little bit different [from their contemporaries], but they were very successful with it. Kurt Warner made it work, and they spread you out in a way that very few teams could spread you out — that looks, today, very familiar.”Although no one knew it at the time, the Rams were at the leading edge of something that was about to take over pro football. The NFL’s average passer rating in 1999 was 75.1 — essentially the same as it had been for a decade — and Warner’s 109.2 rate led the league by a mile. It was, at the time, the second-highest single-season mark ever. Within five years, though, the league-average rating had eclipsed 80.0 for the first time ever, with two players14Peyton Manning and Daunte Culpepper. surpassing Warner’s rating from 1999. By last season, the average NFL passer rating was 84.1, with Warner’s 1999 mark dropping to 10th all time. Because of their sheer effectiveness, pass-first offensive philosophies have gone from the vanguard (see Coryell’s Chargers, or the various Run-and-Shoot teams of the ’90s) to commonplace over the last 15 years.The conventional narrative is that Bill Belichick’s New England Patriots finally solved Martz’s offense in Super Bowl XXXVI, limiting the Rams to 17 points by making Faulk a non-factor. But St. Louis still moved the ball well in the loss, amassing 427 total yards while Faulk notched 130 yards from scrimmage.15In other words, if not for three turnovers, the Rams would likely have won another Super Bowl in 2002. And after a disastrous 7-9 season in 2002, a reloaded version of the Greatest Show on Turf emerged behind another obscure QB (Marc Bulger) to tie for second in the NFL in scoring during the 2003 season.16Ranking behind only Vermeil and Green’s Kansas City Chiefs. The true end came later, as the Rams’ talent scattered. Faulk retired in 2006, while Bruce, Holt and All-Decade left tackle Orlando Pace donned unfamiliar uniforms in their twilight years. Martz took his system to Detroit, San Francisco and Chicago, garnering mixed reviews when lesser talents were plugged in.To the coaches, then, the Greatest Show on Turf was really about the perfect marriage of a high-powered strategy and a gifted roster.“This game has been, is now, and always will be about talent,” Billick said. “Taking nothing away from the system, you’re talking about Hall of Famers like Marshall Faulk, Kurt Warner — who I believe will be in the Hall of Fame — the talents of an Isaac Bruce and Torry Holt … These were unique talents that the system adapted to very, very well.”Vermeil concurred. “Very few teams ever have that kind of skill, at one time, on their side of the line of scrimmage,” he said.It was those players who allowed Martz’s progressive game-planning to thrive, and it was his system that showcased their skills. His fingerprints can still be seen on the league 15 years later.Thanks to Grantland’s Chris Brown for help with this article.